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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, 4th Q, 2017
3rd Q, 2017
2nd Q, 2017
1st Q, 2017
4th Q, 2016
3rd Q, 2016
2nd Q, 2016
1st Q, 2016
3rd Q, 2015
2nd Q, 2015
1st Q, 2015
4th Q, 2014
3rd Q, 2014
2nd Q, 2014
1st Q, 2014
4th Q, 2013
3rd Q, 2013
January - June, 2013
January - June, 2012
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -- 1900)
The idea for Dr. Dreimers diary came from the excerpts from the diary of Samuel Pepys published daily in the National Post. We thought it would be interesting to write a modern diary using the more formal language of an earlier era in this case we have attempted an approximation of 18th Century expression. What is perhaps most evident is the capitalisation of nouns, which gives an emphasis, and suggests a cadence entirely missing from current written expression. The language is more cumbersome and formal, and tends to favour the use of parallel structure for rhetorical emphasis.
Style is inseparable from attitude and tone. Dr. Dreimer observes mankind as if from a great height, or from another, more sensible century.
His judgements are often unflattering, and his scorn and disdain
palpable. They may be expressed directly, but are often revealed through an
ironic approval of some mindless folly. He may appear to some as a pompous
windbag; to others as a curmudgeonly but correct observer.
As it has turned out, the diary is not a conventional diary at all. Apart from the occasional references to the mythical Aunt Myalgia, languishing in the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, or to the Lumpenbangen Studios in the inner reaches of Hamilton, or to the Haven of Wind-in-the-Pines at Silver Lake, we gain little insight into the trivia of Dr. Dreimers own life.
The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.
|December 16, 2017
We are pleased to announce that selections from the 2017 Christmas CD are now available, Click here to play or download.
December 16, 2017
We are pleased to note a significant Advancement in our Progress towards Sweetness and Light at Arkansas State University.
That august Institution no doubt having recognized the terrible Power of Words to cause hurt Feelings, worrisome Discombobulations, and Moments of significant Awkwardness, has adopted a "free speech zone" Policy. (Breitbart News, December 15)
It has been decreed that about one Percent of the University Campus is available for the dangerous Employment of free Speech. Indeed, when we consider the large Numbers of tender and delicate, and essentially unformed and vulnerable human Beings on the average University Campus, we think that the Universitys Initiative, while admirable, involves too much Risk.
We would think a small Area about ten Feet by ten Feet in a suitably remote and seldom used open Field, would be more than sufficient. Such a Location would be relatively unattractive, and the limited Area could be monitored with Microphones and Surveillance Cameras at all Times, to ensure that the Speech did not become overly "free."
We are pleased, however, with one other Restrictions the University has seen fit to put in Place: the "free speech" Zones can only be used with the Approval of the Director of Student Development and Leadership. We assume that this Official has been properly investigated and accredited, and is renowned for impeccable Judgment. He or she will be unlikely to grant Approval to any Characters who look in the least Suspicious, or have about them an Air which could be deemed excessively "free."
In another Restriction, however, we feel the University betrays some
Lack of common Sense. The Free Speech Zones are available to be booked
from Eight OClock in the Morning until Nine OClock in the Evening from
Monday until Friday!
Surely this is excessive! What possible Advantage could there be to "free speech" over such wantonly extended time Periods? The Arrangement suggests a Lack of Appreciation of the Dangers of unfettered Speech possibly even a Degree of moral Rot at the administrative Level.
Our Recommendation which we will be sending to the University President forthwith would be for Tuesdays between Three and Four OClock in the Afternoon. If Students are unable to to express their "free" Thoughts during this generous weekly Period they are obviously insufficiently dedicated to their Studies, and would be well advised to obtain ordinary Employment in the real World, where they will be too busy to be bothered with unnecessary Fripperies.
We regret to say that the University Policy is being challenged by some whose Degree of moral Turpitude is indeed shocking -- some reprehensible Degenerates who seek to sue the University in Court claiming that their First Amendment Rights are being violated.
We are almost "speechless" at the Temerity of such uppity, worthless Trash.
We earnestly hope that they do not succeed. Free Speech can only result in Disruption, Disharmony, and Dismay. The less we have of it, the sooner the long-sought Nirvana can be achieved.
December 8, 2017
..moral disapproval is a muscle we are always anxious to flex... (Robert Fulford)
Moral superiority is impossible in the absence of egregious moral turpitude in others -- thus the timeless appeal of witch hunts and virtue signalling. (Observation # 1242)
The difference is too nice -- Where ends the virtue or begins the vice. (Alexander Pope)
There is a most wonderful Appeal to a State of moral Certainty -- especially where this is some Cause for Doubt. In olden Days, People looked for the Signs of Witchcraft; Today, much moral Indignation can be mustered at any Sign of political Incorrectness.
The modern Remedy is less drastic: the politically incorrect are not burned at the Stake, merely roasted in the Glare of public Opinion, grilled with Disapproval by University Administrations, or branded with the Mark of the scarcely employable.
We have noted below the Tribulations of Lindsay Shepherd, who had the Temerity to introduce the scandalous Opinions of Professor Jordan Peterson to her University Students without the appropriate Retching and it is well known that Anyone who deviates from the preferred Narrative of left-wing Thinking will not be welcomed at any University Campus.
But there is no more convenient a Banner to proclaim moral Virtue than by accusing Others of "Racism." Finding something which might be termed by any elasticity of the Imagination -- "Racism"-- is like finding a well-travelled Broomstick hidden in the garden Shed.
The "Racism" so often discovered is not a Broomstick at all often it is merely a Wheelbarrow of cultural Criticism but the Similarity is often enough for some.
The latest Example of moral Indignation over perceived "Racism" comes not from a University but rather from High Park Alternative School in Toronto. The Rot is, obviously, descending to lower Levels in the "educational" Hierarchy.
A school Play in 2016 included the Song Land of the Silver Birch. The Lyrics well known to Summer Camp Enthusiasts for Generations, refer to the Desire of an indigenous Person to return to a romanticised Version of "Life in the Wild."
The esteemed Principal, Nancy Keenan, and the similarly erudite Vice-Principal, Edita Tahirovic, sent an Email to the "School Community" saying that "Concerns" over the Song had been brought to their Attention. (National Post, December 7)
It is well known that "Concerns" is a Euphemism in the World of Political Correctness for high moral Indignation and categorical Condemnation. The Principals responded appropriately.
While the Lyrics were not "overtly racist," they opined, a Broomstick
was clearly in Evidence.
The "historical context" of the Song is racist.
Obviously, it is time to build the Bonfire, assure a Sufficiency of Matches, and send out Word to all worthy Citizens of the impending Purification.
The Charge: Racism by historical Context.
What does that even mean? Are all Songs written in America to be judged according to their "historical Context?" Is White Christmas to be deemed unacceptable because of the widespread racial Discrimination of the Time?
The esteemed Principals make their Case as follows. The Song was reputedly inspired by a Poem of E. Pauline Johnson.
Ms. Johnson, they note, performed for mostly non-Native Audiences in a Style that "depicted Native people and culture in romantic ways, while lamenting the dying out of Native civilization to be replaced by a superior western civilization."
There you have it! A Broomstick down to the last well-travelled Twig and incantatory Bristle! If you perform for non-Native Audiences, and lament the Dying of Native Civilization, you are a Racist.
We scarcely know where to begin.
First, there is no Evidence that Ms. Johnson had anything to do with the Camp Song.
But let us suppose she actually penned the Words. Where did her Crime lie? Not in the Lyrics, the Principals admit. And it could hardly be termed the Sin of "Cultural Appropriation," since Ms. Johnson was indigenous. No it was because she lamented the dying of a Native Civilization! To be politically correct, of course, she would have had to celebrate Native Civilization and organize a Blockade of Trains carrying non-Native Goods to morally culpable Colonists in order to promote it.
This represents such a Reaching for Culpability where there is none that it admirably exposes the insane Folly of Political Correctness. It is on a Par with the Claim that the Word "Niggardly" is reprehensible and is to be avoided because it sounds like "Niggerdly."
One Day, there may be a Return to Rationality in a Society suffering from severe, clinical Hypersensitivity. But a Method of Cure the hidden Art by which Reality may be injected into the Body Politic has not even been proposed.
It would be Madness to predict when the Madness will end.
P.S.: We should note that the Teacher who put on the Play, Violet Shearer is suing the Principals for $75,000 for Damage to her Reputation the Suggestion that her Judgment and Conduct were inappropriate. We hope that she is successful. Such an Outcome might make "Educators" less likely to find Broomsticks in the Shadow of every Corner.
December 3, 2017
More nutty Professors
Political correctness is the inedible fruit of unreasonable expectations. (Observation #1205)
There has been much justifiable Excoriation of Wilfrid Laurier University, in whose sacred Halls a teaching Assistant, Lindsay Shepherd, was subjected to official Criticism for showing Students a Portion of a Debate involving Professor Jordan Peterson.
Professor Peterson has had the Temerity to suggest that Universities should not require the Usage of special Pronouns for the Transgendered, since this interferes with Freedom of Speech. And this has occasioned much Debate in our Society.
Some Professors at Wilfrid Laurier University not atypically have already made up their Minds on the Issue. They are firmly on the Side of New Pronouns. But not content with their Position which they see as being on the Side of the Angels they wish to prevent Students from hearing the Whispers of the Devil, and seek to impose Sanctions on any who would allow such Whispers to spread their noxious Influence in sanctified Halls of Learning.
Ms. Shepherd was told that her Actions could be compared to presenting a Speech by Hitler without words of Condemnatory Reservation. She had created a "toxic climate" and was in Breach of Canadian Law. (National Post, November 21)
Ms. Shepherd had the Perspicacity to record the Conversation. Had she not, her Accusers, the nutty Professors, Nathan Rambukkana, Herbert Pimlott, and Adria Joel the "manager of gendered violence prevention" would, no doubt, have carved another Notch in the Grip of their politically correct Pea-Shooters.
With Publicity, have come restrained not profuse Letters of Apology from the University and from Professor Rambukkana.
Our Interest is in the general Perception that this Incident represents merely the visibly oppressive Tip of an Iceberg of Political Correctness at Universities both in Canada and elsewhere.
Our Theory we seem to be somewhat alone in it -- is that Political Correctness has its Roots in the Desire for Equality. The World is a very unequal Place, and it seems entirely reasonable that many wish to make it a kinder, gentler, Place a Place of greater Equality.
The great Danger is the Failure to realize that every Virtue contains the Seeds of Vice. Excess in good Things reveals an unexpected Evil. This is perhaps better known as the "Law of unintended Consequences."
In the Matter of reducing Inequality, there are two Approaches: the Passive, and the Active.
The first passive and legitimate -- is to remove Barriers. While equal Opportunity may be beyond the Powers of Mortals to provide, it seems possible, at least to remove artificial Barriers to Opportunity. Barriers of Caste, Class, Race, Gender are seen as unfair.
The second active and problematic is to favour the unfortunate, and to restrict the favoured. Some Degree of this Favouring may be justified. It seems compassionate to provide medical Care to those who cannot afford it. Taxing the Favoured to provide such Care may seem reasonable.
But this Principle can be carried too far. Socialism, for example, is founded on the Notion of "Equality." Citizens are considered to be like Ants all equal Workers controlled in the Service of the greater Colony. This never works, of course. There always have to be the "unequal" Workers who implement the Central Plan for the "equal" ones. And "Equality" is a Procrustean Bed into which unequal human Beings simply will not fit. That is why Socialism in Practice is indistinguishable from Dictatorship.
Affirmative Action is another questionable Policy. In an Attempt to create "Equality of Result" some Groups are favoured over others. One Kind of Discrimination is replaced with another. No Thought is given as to whether the Cure is as bad as the Disease. Ignoring "Merit" in favour of "Equality" may sound good but it has the Consequence of Mediocrity. As Aristotle observed, "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."
Political Correctness as observed in our Universities and elsewhere is also founded on the Notion of Equality. The Idea is that all Citizens should have an "Equality" of Self-Esteem. Hurt Feelings suggest a Deficiency of Self-Esteem -- an "Inequality" and hence must be avoided wherever possible. Thus we have seen much Emphasis, in the Universities, on "Safe Spaces," "Toxic Environments," and the Rejection of conservative Speakers who suggest the World of Equality, as attractive as it may seem, is not actually attainable. Indeed, we see Political Correctness as the inedible Fruit of the unreasonable Expectations of Equality.
The Matter of Pronouns for the Transgendered is simply Part of the active Approach for Equality seen in Political Correctness. We have no Doubt that there are People who perceive themselves as "misgendered." In the real World, this is an extreme Awkwardness. The active Approach to such Difficulties is not to acknowledge them as such nor to ignore or minimize them -- but to celebrate them. Every unfortunate Circumstance must be seen to have a silver Lining, and that Resplendence must be discovered, or, if necessary, manufactured. It must then be proclaimed and waved as a Flag of Triumph.
The special Pronouns for the Transgendered are exactly that kind of compensatory Factor small silver Blessings which will bolster Self-Esteem. This is not a Question of removing Barriers to Employment or Housing; it is not a Question of allowing People to vote. It is a Question of making them feel especially worthy and respected.
It may well be that Society will eventually take that Step. Someone has observed that the Word "Ms." which fails to designate marital Status of Women has been widely accepted. But Foot-Stamping by the Transgendered and complicit Coercion by politically correct University Administrations seems unlikely to generate much Sympathy for the Cause of special Pronouns. In the Case of "Ms." it might have been a general Perception that Women and Men should be equally rewarded in their Desire not to announce their marital Status at every Mention of their Names. Whether Society decides that the Transgendered should have special Forms of Address which recognize their Difference, is, perhaps, a dissimilar Matter.
This is Something which should not be coerced, but, having been suggested, should await a general Consensus.
November 12, 2017
Male or Female?
We have always had a firm Conviction that despite any Appearances to the contrary we are the King of Siam. We have always been partial to Siamese Cats, and have been entranced by the Buddhist Philosophy, royal Regalia, and extensive Harems.
As a Child in elementary School, we were much ridiculed for this Assertion. When the Musical, The King and I appeared in 1951, we knew immediately that it would be necessary to shave our Head which only incurred more Mockery.
As an Adult, we have had to be more circumspect. It has not been advantageous in Matters of Employment -- or general Credibility -- to reveal our own true Feelings. But the compassionate Reader will understand our Predicament and perhaps accede to our Request to refer to us in Public as "His Majesty."
This Matter of course indicates the Difficulties incurred when personal Perception is at odds with objective Reality. In our Case, we have had little Success in requiring anyone to address us as "Your Majesty."
We suspect that we are merely unfortunate in our Convictions. If we were to be convinced that we were, in fact Female rather than as objective Reality declares Male we would have a considerable amount of public Support for our Request to be referred to as "she."
We do not claim that all those who feel "misgendered" are not genuine in their Beliefs. The subjective Impression of being "misgendered" may be entirely real. On the other Hand there is also an objective Standard by which Gender may be judged.
Which Perception should take Precedence?
There is some Danger in placing Feelings ahead of Facts. Feelings are subjective, variable, and potentially limitless in Scope. There may also be some Difficulty in assessing whether the "Feeling" is genuine or is one assumed to attract Attention, gain Power, or promote a political Agenda.
On a personal Level we can understand that if a particular Male should evince a Fondness for female Clothing, and display "typically female" Behaviours -- those close to that Person might identify and refer to "him" as "she."
What we are not so sure about is whether government Institutions
such as Schools and Universities should require Teachers and
Classmates to accede to that request. We think that it should be a
Matter of individual Choice.
This would seem to be the prudent Course, when it is revealed that there are a not inconsiderable Number of different Gender Identities. A Google Search has revealed that Facebook (surely more important than the medical Profession in this Matter) recognizes Seventy-One different Identities. We cannot imagine what they are but that very Number suggests that, with a little creative Imagination it might be considerably enhanced.
But let us be content with the Number of Seventy-One. Will all these require appropriate pronouns? What will the Penalty* be for Error?
It seems that, to follow the Principle of ignoring Facts, and putting Feelings first Absurdity is the first Goal likely to be reached. Our Insistence on being addressed as "Your Majesty" might well become validated in Law.
We would also like to note a Bit of "Cognitive Dissonance" which this Matter suggests. The very "Progressives" who advocate the Use of different Pronouns for those with different Perceptions of their "Gender Identities" are the same People who are upset and disturbed by the Lack of Gender Representation in every Sphere of Endeavour. They lament the Paucity of female Bicycle Mechanics, Truck Drivers, or Chief Executives of large Corporations. By doing so, they imply that Men and Women are exactly alike only Custom is responsible for perceived Differences.
But when Individuals claim that their "Identity" is "Male" or "Female" as opposed to their apparent Gender such Difference is immediately acknowledged by progressive Minds everywhere. You cant have it both Ways. If there is a real Difference in the Way Men and Women perceive and act in the World you should not find them equally represented in every Occupation.
Our Position is that there is often a Difference in Male and Female Perceptions; we would simply be cautious in putting the Power of the State behind the Request to be addressed according to subjective Feelings rather than according to objective Reality. If an Individual goes so far as to have Surgery, that suggests an extraordinary Commitment which should reasonably be recognized. Otherwise, we would allow Freedom of Choice in acceding to "special Requests." The State has no Business in the Misgendered Identities of the Nation.
*The Genesis of these Remarks is in an Article in Breitbart News of this Date. A Teacher in the United Kingdom, Joshua Sutcliffe, was suspended for the "avoidance of gendered pronouns" in referring to a female Student who "self-identified" as a Boy. He also said "well done girls" to the Student who was working with a Girl.
October 29, 2017
It is intriguing to see the Spread of Political Correctness the new Religion which attempts to create a marvellous Equality in our ordinarily unequal State.
"Equality" has a wonderful sound to it; it is like the pleasing, seductive Music of Nirvana.
Unfortunately, it shares some Characteristics with the potent melodic Strains attributed to the Sirens of Mythology. Those Sirens, you may remember, were not benign their irresistible Harmonies were designed to lure Sailors and their Craft to Disaster and Shipwreck.
Thus it is with "Equality" for it is an ideal State not attainable in the real World. It is not in the Blueprint of natural Things, and will not be found among living Creatures. The Attempt to create it is bound, therefore, to be coercive and oppressive.
No Matter. Some, whose Commitment to the Ideal of Equality is great, think that all Groups of People are equally worthy, and that they should be equally represented in every Field of Endeavour.
Thus, the Fact that Women are not usually found employed as Firefighters, or Company Presidents, is a Matter of great Concern. By the same Logic, it is thought that all cultural Groups and Races should appear in every Workplace exactly as they do in the Population at large.
It is certainly reasonable to remove Barriers which restrict Anyone in the Matter of Self-fulfilment. People should be treated according to their Merits; there should be no Hurdles which impede solely on the Basis of Gender, Race, or Culture. It should be recognized, however, that Women are, by and large, not as strong as Men; nor do they always have the same Interests. And those from a different Culture may not have necessary Skills of Language, or may not be likely to make certain Choices. A Lady who has an earnest Desire to wear a Burka may be unsuitable as a Fitness Trainer, or may lack Credibility as a purveyor of Cosmetics.
But Political Correctness is not inclined to be satisfied with the Removal of Barriers. It wishes not to allow the Universe to unfold by itself to whatever Degree of "Equality" is appropriate but to hurry Things along in Accord with the Ideal.
Thus we have "Affirmative Action," "Hiring Quotas" and "Selective Admission Policies" all designed to create "Equality" where it is thought to be lacking.
All such Policies, of course, involve the very Sin which they attempt to eradicate: People are not treated as Individuals but as Members of Groups. What is "Affirmative Action" for one Group is a "Prejudicial Barrier" for another.
We have been intrigued to discover as recorded in the National Post -- an interesting Ramification of the politically correct Push for "Equality."
It appears that there is a Singer, Lida Pimienta, whose Habit it is to encourage "brown girls" to move to the Front at her Concerts, and to request "white people" to move back.
Recently, at the Halifax Pop Explosion, a white Volunteer Photographer, and some white Members of the Audience were disinclined to obey. Some other Members of the Audience thought that the Photographer should move away, but she refused. Eventually the Photographer was "removed." (National Post, October 27)
The Operators of the Festival have made an Obsequious Apology as a Result of the Incident.
They did not, of course, apologize to the Photographer. So drunk have they become with the Kool-Aid of Political Correctness, they have apologized to Ms. Pimienta.
Further, they have committed "to providing our team with anti-oppression and anti-racism training."
We think Ms. Pimienta should be required to attend.
It is she who made a Distinction solely on the Basis of Race and Gender. She did not consider the Merits of the Photographer or Audience Members their "Worthiness" as human Beings.
Rather, she judged them as Members of Groups. One Group "brown girls" she favoured. Another Group white People she rejected.
While it is acceptable to judge Others on the Basis of their Individual Characteristics or Beliefs, to favour or reject them solely on the Basis of unalterable Characteristics Race and Gender is not.
Ms. Pimientas Actions are a perfect Example of true "Racism."
And that Racism has its Genesis in the politically correct Desire to manufacture "Equality" wherever it is perceived to be absent.
October 15, 2017
There is much Fascination with a true Tale that involves Kidnapping, Years of Hardship and Cruelty, followed by an unlikely happy Ending.
We refer, of Course, to the Experience of Joshua Boyle and his Wife, Caitlin Coleman, who were captured by the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan in 2012, and released in a dramatic Rescue this Month.
From our Perspective, there is an added Element of Intrigue: we have been given Glimpses of a Tail, and a large Part of an Ear which suggest that there is an Elephant in the Room.
On Television, we have heard from the Father of Ms. Coleman who is critical of Mr. Boyle for traipsing through dangerous Territory with a pregnant Wife.
We have also heard that Mr. Boyle was previously married to Zaynab Khadr, the older Sister of Omar Khadr. Zaynab is notable for Remarks critical of western Lifestyle, and for suggesting the terror Attacks of September eleventh were justified.
Boyle met Zaynab because he was a "crusader" who felt that Omars imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay was unfair. (Ottawa Citizen, October 12)
He has been described by a friend, Alex Edwards:
Joshua has a loose connection to Afghanistan, a deep respect for Islam -- he may even have been in the process of converting -- and a purely academic interest in terrorism, but none of that even remotely qualifies him to travel safely in Afghanistan. It could have been simple naivetι, but I, and many others, have always known Joshua as an exceptionally cunning and savvy man. (Ottawa Citizen, October 12)
The Article in the Ottawa Citizen also notes the following:
Edwards said, as far as he knows, Boyle was not devoted to any particular political philosophy. He was a pacifist, anti-war and anti-abortion. "He once described himself to me as a hippie, Mennonite love child."
All this leads us to a rather opposite Conclusion: rather than being "cunning and savvy" Mr. Boyle is idealistic and naive. He lacks Judgment.
We are particularly amazed that he could have a "deep respect" for Islam. All Religions despite their Usefulness -- are complete Nonsense. And Islam -- in Theory and very often in Practice -- is opposed to any humane Continuance of the human Project.
We predict that the Saga of the Boyles is far from over.
Mr. Boyle is unlikely to fade into the Obscurity of the Average.
October 13, 2017
The Road to Perfection has many Obstacles.
One of those Obstacles is inherent in the Search: every Virtue every aspect of Perfection -- carried sufficiently far, cannot escape an attendant Vice.
This is why Political Correctness will ultimately destroy itself it aims for a Perfection which is not attainable, and the Virtues it pursues inevitably become entangled in unforseen Vices.
A Case in Point is the Desire that No One should feel offended.
This is an admirable and Noble Aim but can never be achieved. Some Portion of those who feel unfairly treated can never have their Feelings assuaged. Their Identity is bound up with Victimhood. If one Demand is satisfied, another Complaint must appear in order for the customary Stance of Being in the World to be upheld.
The Focus of such People is often the Past, which can never be repealed or rectified, and provides a constant Source of Resentment.
The true Revenge for past Wrongs is present Accomplishment. But Accomplishment is more difficult than Complaint. Thus Complaint is the Path of least Resistance.
It is the Fashion of the present Day to attempt to make up for past Injustice with an exaggerated Respect and Sensitivity. It has been decreed that the Landscape is composed of Eggshells which must not be broken. Political Correctness requires that all Citizens must tip-toe through a Terrain full of potential Offenses social Landmines triggered by the breaking of a single Eggshell.
This Stance is not sustainable. The Garden we inhabit is not one of thornless Roses, or Eggshell Landmines some Provocation of Insult and Offense must be endured.
How much we cannot say.
But what does seem obvious is that the Attempt to banish all Insult and Offense leads to monumental Stupidity.
Two Examples come to mind.
The more recent is the Decision of the Toronto and District School Board to banish the Word "Chief." Thus there will be no "Chief Financial Officer," or "Chief Caretaker."
"Chief" is a perfectly respectable Word it derives from the Latin "Caput" meaning "Head." It has had, apparently, the Misfortune to be applied to Aboriginal Leaders in Canada.
That, in itself, is not the Error. The Error is apparently that it has been used casually to refer to any Aboriginal, and has been interpreted as a derogatory Exaggeration.
A Spokesman for the Board, Ryan Bird, said that he had consulted with an elder who told him that probably "every Aboriginal person has been referred to as chief" in a derogatory Fashion at some Point in his Life. (National Post, October 10, 2017)
On these Grounds apparently the School Board in its infinite Sensitivity has decided to act.
We wonder how many other Words have been or will become -- similarly infected with the Virus of Offensiveness and require banishment from polite Conversation.
One Example we can think of is "Niggardly" meaning "stingy."
Its Offense is to sound too much like the Word "N*gg*r" which since its Days of Legitimacy at the Time of Mark Twain has become so sulphurous that we suspect our ancient Laptop on which this is being typed will at any Minute be engulfed in Flames.
On January 15, 1999, David Howard, an aide to Anthony A. Williams, the mayor of Washington, D.C., used "niggardly" in reference to a budget. This apparently upset one of his black colleagues (Howard is white), identified by Howard as Marshall Brown, who misinterpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. As a result, on January 25, Howard tendered his resignation, and Williams accepted it.
Such exaggerated Sensitivity sacrifices common Sense and Reality to Ignorance and misplaced Indignation.
Political Correctness, as we have elsewhere observed, values Feelings over Facts, and Fiction over Freedom.*
The costs of exaggerated Sensitivity are not inconsiderable. The Stance of Victimhood is foolishly rewarded. Freedom is lost, and the Stupidity of Mankind is, egregiously, enhanced.
* Observation # 582
October 7, 2017
We see that Denmark is proposing a Law which would ban Coverings of the Face, including the Niqab and Burka.
In this Restriction, they will be joining Austria, France, and Belgium.
We would note that Canada takes the opposite View: our Government, in its infinite Wisdom, has decided that the Niqab is a Garment entirely suitable for Participants in a Ceremony of Citizenship.
The Argument against such Prohibition rests on the Notion of Freedom. The Question may legitimately be asked: what Right has the Government to dictate to Citizens how they should dress?
We would note that there are a Number of Ways to answer that Question.
First, Dress is already the subject of Legislation. It is entirely common for Governments to prohibit Nudity in public Places. We imagine that the Thinking is that Nudity is a Distraction inappropriate in a Society where Clothing has become traditional and established. We cannot say with Certainty, but it seems possible that there is some Significance to the Fact that Societies which veer towards Nudity tend to be primitive Tribes in warm Climates. The Societies which are more complex, and have achieved scientific and cultural Sophistication have prospered while wearing Clothing in less balmy Locations.
Clothing may not be the Key to societal Advancement, but the Benefits of public Nudity would seem not to have been conclusively proven. Governments, if they have erred, have erred on the Side of Conservatism. And the Clamouring for Nudity on the Subway Trains in metropolitan Areas seems minimally evident. Most People seem to accept this Restriction on Wardrobe Diversity.
Secondly, there is a Tradition in most Societies -- that the Face should be revealed. Some considerable Part of the human Brain or so we are told is devoted to the Recognition of Faces. Human Beings are accustomed to communicating and judging one another based, in Part, on facial Expressions. To interfere with that basic Process seems unwise. It does not seem unreasonable to suggest that large Numbers of People deciding to hide their Faces might have an impact on the mutual Trust among Citizens who are accustomed to reading the Faces of Others.
We would note that when Someone hides a Face, a Position of Superiority is adopted. The One who is masked claims the Right to View the Faces of Others, but refuses to grant that same Right to Others. It runs counter to the Notion of Equality of Opportunity. It introduces a divisive Element into a Society.
The Government might have some legitimate Interest in maintaining a Tradition which seems to have worked, and in opposing an Practice imported from Cultures manifestly less successful in creating satisfactory Lives for Citizens. Western Societies appear to be highly desirable to Immigrants; Islamic Countries not so much.
Nor should we overlook the Fact that the Mask is a traditional Means of concealing Identity for the Purpose of committing a Crime and evading Justice. Why should the Owner of a Jewellery Store be required to admit Customers wearing Masks? Is not the Weakening of a Defence against Theft an ill-advised Measure? In a Nation of masked Citizens, what Point is there in having security Cameras?
Again, we should not dismiss the Power of Symbolism. Face Coverings
such as the Niqab and Burka are Symbols of the Oppression of Women in
Societies where the Concept of Gender Equality is unknown. No Doubt some
Women choose to wear Masks as a Symbol of their Freedom. But the general
symbolic Significance is one of Slavery.
The Government might have some Interest in opposing the public Display of a Philosophy which espouses female Oppression.
Considering these Factors there is no Doubt -- in our Mind -- that strong Disapproval of Face Coverings should be expressed. In olden Days, that would have been done by individual Citizens, but such personal Expression is not in Accord with modern Sensibilities. The old Notion: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is considered a Relic of primitive Tribalism. The new Mantra of Tolerance is: "When in Rome, do as you please; the Romans will just have to get used to it."
Thus, it is up to the Government to express Disapproval.
Some might argue that a Ban on Face-Coverings is too strong a Measure. It might simply be sufficient for the Government to require those who wear Masks to reveal their Faces when testifying in Court, becoming a Citizen, or in any Interaction with Representatives of the State.
We think that Circumstances the Degree of Threat -- should dictate the Strength of the Message.
We happen to believe that, in some Countries, the Antithesis between the Values of Western Societies and those of Islam has become of crucial Importance. Ultimately, there can be no Compromise between the Tradition that Citizens are free to criticize, and the Tradition which holds that a Religion should be, unfailingly, approved. If we fail to uphold the Freedom to criticize -- we concede the Triumph of irrational Belief, and embrace not merely the Slavery of silence, but the Imprisonment of the Mind which it implies. And there is no happy middle Ground between the Idea that Religion should dictate government Policy, and the Notion that Governments should be secular, and free of religious Influence.
While many believe that happy Multiculturalism is an attainable State, we are of the more gloomy View: that, in an epic Clash of antithetical Traditions only one Tradition can be the Victor in any political Jurisdiction.
In those Countries where there appear to be significant and growing Populations of those who have no Interest in adapting to Freedom of Speech and secular Customs, the Banning of Symbols of an antithetical Culture and Ideology may be justified.
The Idealists may bemoan that Freedom is, inconsistently, being protected by limiting Freedom. But Wars are not won with Tolerance, nor without Sacrifice. In passing, we would point out that "Tolerance" is a much misunderstood Term. "Tolerance" is not a universal good. "Tolerance" of Theft and Assault is not admirable; "Tolerance" of an Ideology which is implacably opposed to ones own and which is used to justify Violence and Terror is simply Stupidity hiding under a treacherous Euphemism.
In Times of War, one neither broadcasts nor approves the Propaganda of the Enemy.
Disapproval of Face-Coverings seems necessary in order to uphold the Value of open Interactions among free Citizens in a secular Society. Banning them, in some Circumstances, seems entirely sensible.
October 3, 2017
We note with Interest the Election of Jagmeet Singh as Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.
It has been observed that Mr. Singh is being compared with one of our favourite* Politicians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Both Men are youngish, charismatic, and of the leftish Persuasion. Mr. Singh has the virtue-signalling Advantage of not being Caucasian, and of habitually wearing the prominent Symbol of a Religion which is not Christianity. It is speculated that Mr. Singh will draw Votes from those who might ordinarily support Mr. Trudeau, but who might wish to express their Leftishness in greater Degree by showing that they are not intolerant of other Races and Cultures.
It is imagined that this might split the leftish Vote and allow the Conservatives to be re-elected.
This is a Consummation devoutly to be wished. We have a very dim View of the Left-o-Sphere, for it seems prone to great Error in its Perception of the human Condition. Mr. Singh seems wonderfully in the Grip of leftish Ideology, and is admirably suited to lead the New Democratic Party.
We just happened to hear Mr. Singhs Speech of Acceptance on the Radio. He adhered in laudable Fashion to the Requirement that no Speech may be uttered by a committed Leftist without initial Acknowledgment of the Fact that Lands beneath the Feet of the Speaker were once used and enjoyed by certain Indian Tribes.
This is done as a Symbol of Inclusiveness and Reconciliation to assuage the Feelings of the Descendants of those Tribes who are still obsessed with ancient Wrongs. It is a wonderful Act of Condescension, and entirely in keeping with political Correctness which holds that Feelings should be inviolable. It is concerned, of course, not so much with Reality, but with Appearance.
The rest of his Speech was admirably political full of Appreciation and Gratitude for his Backers and Opponents.
We should note another interesting Similarity between Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau one which goes a considerable Distance to explaining our Aversion to left-wing we were going to say "Thinking" but that Term is perhaps too generous. Let us, instead, use the Word "Perceptions."
Both Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau struck the same Note on the Death of Mr. Castro in 2016. Mr. Trudeau said:
Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation...
I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raϊl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
And Mr. Singhs Opinion was similar:
He saw a country wracked by poverty, illiteracy & disease. So he lead a revolution that uplifted the lives of millions. RIP #FidelCastro.
How very appropriate! Mr. Castro, too, was wonderfully charismatic
and committed to "Socialism."
But, you see, the great and central Problem of Leftish Ideology is that it is so committed to Equality and Virtue, so enamoured with high Ideals and noble Principles, and so mindlessly gullible, that it is a walking Advertisement for Bamboozlement. Appearance is all. It never digs beneath the Surface. It is concerned, primarily, with good Intentions; it is not particularly interested in Results.
One of our favourite Observations is this: "Being on the side of the angels allows for many a pact with the devil.**" In the left-wing Mind perhaps, again, that term is overly generous in what passes for the left-wing Mind a Collection of disorganized Feelings -- Murder and Oppression committed in the Name of Virtue acquire a Sheen of Respectability.
If the literacy Rate goes up let us celebrate that Fact! Let us not count the "necessary" Murders.
We have no Hesitation in declaring that all socialist Enterprises end in Dictatorship because human Beings will simply not fit into egalitarian Schemes. Dictatorship is the inevitable Hell to which the Paving Stones of Equality lead.
We do not anticipate that either Mr. Trudeau or Mr. Singh is likely to become a Dictator in a Country with a long History of Democracy. But we think the essential Flaw in Perception is worth observing. The elder Trudeau admired Castro. Justin admired the "basic dictatorship" of China. Mr. Singh focuses not on the murderous Oppression, economic Fragility, or Loss of Freedom in Cuba: all he sees is an "uplifting" Revolution.
It has been suggested that Mr. Singhs Religion may cause him Difficulties in Quebec, since the Inhabitants of that Province are generally opposed to the prominent Display of religious Symbols by government officials.
We should note that we have frequently argued against the Wearing of religious Symbols by those representing the legal System.
A Police Officer wears a Uniform to suggest that he does not act on the Basis of his individual Perceptions; he is acting as a Representative of the State. If he wears, in Addition, a Symbol of religious Affiliation, a mixed Message is being sent: the State appears to be approving of a particular Religion. The Citizen is made to feel unsure: What religious Biases sanctioned by the State -- does the Officer hold?
We are similarly opposed to the Wearing of religious Symbols by a Judge or, indeed, any civil Servant who has the Power to assist or frustrate the Dealings of a Citizen with his Government.
In the Case of a Member of Parliament, no Uniform is worn. We expect Politicians to represent diverse Viewpoints, and to be burdened with various Degrees of Ineptitude and Stupidity. It is probably better that they announce their particular Biases rather than attempt to hide them from public View.
To conclude, we think Mr. Singh is an entirely appropriate Leader for a left-wing Party. We earnestly hope that he and his Party receive the Support and Credence they deserve.
*Mr. Trudeau offers us Much in the Way of an easy Target.
** Observation # 243
October 1, 2017
We have long been skeptical of the Theory that Mankind is largely responsible for global Temperatures.
Our Skepticism has been fuelled by two Things.
First we have been blessed with a superior Bullshit Detector. We make no scientific Claims for the Accuracy of this Original Equipment Device. It is entirely intuitive. It measures, in some complex Fashion, what is being proclaimed against what seems reasonable. It is quick to assess the Likelihood of hidden Motivation, to sniff out the unmistakable Odour of Deviousness.
Thus, when Maurice Strong, an early proponent of the Theory, claims that it is our Duty to destroy industrial Civilization, our Sensor tells us that there is Something amiss.
When prominent Promoters of the Theory, such as Mr. Gore and Dr. Suzuki, show clearly, by their Actions, that they do not believe in the Gospel they preach we are inclined to disbelieve that very same Gospel.
When Dr. Suzuki is shown, on Australian Television, to have very little Knowledge of the Details of Climate Science, and to admit that he is entirely dependent on the Findings of the International Panel on Climate Change, we realize that he is not even an accredited Theologian: he is merely the Possessor of a Preacher's Robe and a convenient Soapbox.
When Alarmists proclaim "the Science is settled" a Claim quite contrary to the Spirit of scientific Enquiry we know that "Science" is the Handmaiden of Something Else.
When Alarmists seem to be primarily interested in discrediting Deniers rather than welcoming Criticism it is clear that they have Something to hide.
Indeed, so unconvincing has been the Behaviour of Alarmists, that we can only marvel that anyone has given them a Moments Consideration.
But our superior Bullshit Detector merely supports the Facts that justify Skepticism.
In the early l990's, the Club of Rome proclaimed that it intended to use Matters such as Global Warming in Pursuit of its Agenda: the Replacement of Democracy by Expertocracy.
The early Predictions of Climate Refugees, terrible Droughts, and the Flooding of Manhattan never materialized.
Most important of all, of course, is the Fact that Projections were made of continuous Warming, based on the Theory that Gasses cause Warming. The great Problem has been that the Gasses have gone up but for the last Period of nearly two Decades, the Temperature has not gone up proportionately.
When the Evidence runs counter to the Hypothesis -- it is the Hypothesis which must be, in some Manner, flawed.
Attacking a Hypothesis which has acquired the Status of Gospel is not easy. It does not help that many "Scientists" have staked their Reputations on the Theory. We suspect, also, that Funding has a natural Affinity with Orthodoxy; Heretics do not get Grants, Positions, or the Respect of fellow Clergy.
Attacks, there have been. And a desperate Attempt to make the "Pause" go away by fiddling with the Data has not met with universal Acclaim.
But, thus far, most Governments and Media are on the Side of orthodox Piety, and religious Devotion.
However, we think that the Skeptical Side is gaining Ground.
A recent Paper published in Nature Geoscience by Myles Allen, a Professor of geo- ystem Science at the University of Oxford, and Michael Grubb, a Professor of international Energy and Climate Change at University College London is entitled: Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5?°C
The Attempt of this Paper is to suggest that Everything is more peachy than had been feared: limiting Warming over the next Century is possible.
The Awkwardness arises from the Fact that that wonderful Result is possible because Sound of Trumpets the Computer Models have been erroneous, mistaken, flawed, and downright deceitful:
Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the studys authors, admitted that his previous prediction had been wrong.
He stated during the climate summit in Paris in December 2015: "All the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5C is simply incompatible with democracy."
Speaking to The Times, he said: "When the facts change, I change my mind, as Keynes said."
Breitbart News, September 19
And from Professor Allen:
We havent seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We havent seen that in the observations.
Breitbart News, September 19
How terribly inconvenient a Truth!
We doubt, of course, that this is the End of the Theory. The Authors are still pretending that what is important is that we still have an improved Chance to prevent Climageddon in a hundred years Time.
What is actually important is their Admission that there is a Discrepancy between Theory and Experience. If they have been wrong in the Past why should we now believe their Forecasts for the Future?
The Answer to that Question depends, of course, on your Degree of Piety and the State of your Bullshit Detector.